Sunday, February 6, 2011

Book Review and eReaders

Oh, my gosh, oh, my gosh! Scott Sigler commented on my blog. I would respond to him but I can't. So here is my response. I love the fact that he commented on my blog. I am glad he didn't critique it for glaring errors. Even better, he is coming out with a new book in the series, Pandemic. It is not for some time, though, so it gives you time to read the first two and build some anticipation. I sent both books via Amazon to my brother Roland for his birthday. He works for the Department of Energy and has a long commute by train into DC. He was also on the trip to Tonga and read The Puppet Masters quite a few times, so I know he will love it.

This series screams out to be made into movies. If someone hasn't optioned it, maybe they should. When I win the lottery (my fall back financial goal for retirement) I will do it myself. I took some screen writing in college! My English major daughter Trista (UCLA summa cum laude)who then went to England for her Master's could do the editing. Okay, this series screams out for a movie or two done by professionals. And I'll leave it at that. Except for the fact that it is written in such a way that I can see how it would be adapted to the screen very easily, hopefully WAY better than The Puppet Masters was!

While we spent 2 hours today clearing more rusty oil barrels and wires out of the gully..the Super Bowl starts late on this coast...most of this weekend has been spent researching eReaders. Every time I go somewhere on a plane I have to take a book a day and a couple extra. This is in case I get stuck in an airport or I don't like one or two I brought. In addition, it was just decided by the consortium of libraries in Roanoke and Botetourt counties that they will purchase ebooks that can be downloaded to just about every eReader except Kindle. Now that I can get free books I am getting excited about an eReader.

I read about a book a day. I get a lot from the library, but I buy a lot, also. Because I read in such volume buying new does not make sense. I spend $30 to $50 a month on used paperback books. I like to buy them because I read everywhere. I read while doing dishes and vacuuming. I read while taking a bath. (Is it bad that I read when I iron? I do it when I shift the item being ironed to a different spot or change garments. I know, the kids always tell me that I can do any job more quickly if I am not reading, but the fact is I like reading more than these other jobs and have a hard time putting down the book to get to it ...just one more chapter..) I read while Lee drives. I don't read while I drive, though. I like a small paperback to fit in my purse so I can read whenever the opportunity occurs. I like the books small and portable and cheap in case I ruin them in the water!

Now that I can get free books, an eReader makes sense. I will still buy a lot of paperbacks and get hardbacks from the library, but for travel I love the idea of an eReader. I also like the idea that I can keep up with email and my blog when out in California. I checked and found that my old library in California has ebooks, so I can fill up out there, also. Or even grab one from Barnes and Noble via the Internet.

My dilemma was, do I get an eReader or an iPad. The iPad was larger and therefore heavier, but way more versatile. On the other hand, I can't get interested in games or a lot of the options, so I can take or leave that. I went to Best Buy and tried out all the available options and spent a lot of time Googling (is that a verb, like FedEx a package or Xerox a page?)to find out what other people think. I heard that iPad will have built in camera in the next generation. I love that idea. Then it will be easy to Skype with Trista in England, Tara in Northern Virginia and Travis and Vanessa in New Orleans. So I will wait until then and get one next year or so. In the meantime I will get a Nookcolor based on the reviews and my needs. But I will NOT be using this for the books I read in the tub!

Here is what I really want. I should probably tell Barnes and Noble so they can get cracking on it. If libraries can lend you an ebook and have it magically disappear in two weeks, and I don't want to keep a book I download from Barnes and Noble, why can't they offer a service kind of like Net Flix? The books I only want to read I pay $2 or $3 for and the disappear in two weeks. If I need more time I "rent" them for more money. I want the author to be paid for his work. I want the publisher to be paid, but if I don't get the printed paper and I can't lend or resell the book then why should I pay more than the cost of a paperback? It is cheaper for the publisher, who gets the lion's share of the book cost.

When this happens I will buy tons more books online, kind of like watching a pay-per-view movie. Watch it once and then it goes away. This does not mean I won't buy books to keep. I still do that even though I work in a library and spend more than enough at used bookstores. Books are also a favorite gift to give and to receive. But I would use it way more if I could do so at a reduced rate for a one time read and I expect it will happen when all libraries offer free ebooks and the bookstores have to compete.

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